Transfer news: Paul Lambert reveals Aston Villa interest in signing Wigan striker Grant Holt

Lambert and Holt worked together at Norwich

Villa Park

Paul Lambert admitted tonight that Aston Villa are trying to sign the Wigan Athletic striker Grant Holt, who played under the Scot when he was manager of Norwich City.

Holt, 32, who has scored twice this season for Championship side Wigan having left Norwich in the summer is expected to join Villa this month. Lambert said: “I had him [Holt] at Norwich. Holt was fantastic for me at Norwich. He's a proper guy. I have just been told the rumours are going through everywhere. Until something is concrete, we'll just have to see.”

Asked whether it would be a loan or permanent, Lambert said, “If he comes. He may not come.” He added: [it's a case of] Maybe 'aye', maybe 'no'. He did brilliant for me at Norwich.“ Holt last scored for Wigan in the Championship against Middlesbrough on 25 August.

Christian Benteke scored his first goal since September against Arsenal in Villa's 2-1 defeat. Lambert said that he hoped the player would draw confidence from the performance. ”It was round about this time last year that he started to score goals for us, give or take a few weeks,“ Lambert said. ”It's uncanny. He would certainly give us a big lift.“

The Villa centre-back Nathan Baker had to come off with mild concussion in the first half after being struck in the temple, Lambert said, by a shot from Serge Gnabry. ”He's a little bit groggy at the minute, Lambert said. “He's okay but he can't remember a thing about it.”

Lambert said that Baker's injury had thrown his team. “You work all week on what you want to do and then we lost him at a vital time. It certainly never helps. We had started pretty okay in the game. To be fair to the lads the second half was more like us. I don't think if we had got an equaliser anyone would have begrudged it.”

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